In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were roughly 3,000 children unintentionally shot and 127 killed as a result of irresponsibly stored firearms. One source I found online said we lost about one child per week. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence—the philosophical antithesis to the National Rifle Association (NRA)—says that number is eight per day.
Many of the wounded “children” I attended in an inner-city emergency room were 17 years old, heavily muscled and plastered with gang tats. Regardless, something upon which I suspect everyone can agree is that a single child injured or killed as the result of an improperly stored firearm is one too many.
Guns are present in about one-third of the homes with children in America. That number likely goes up to about 100 percent for those of us who enjoy reading material of the sort you are currently perusing. Gun ownership brings with it certain implicit responsibilities.
By their nature, guns are obviously innately dangerous. Balancing the need for security against the absolute requirement for safety, particularly in homes with young children, is an intrinsic part of responsible gun ownership. In the past, this was an all-or-nothing proposition.
When my own kids were young, I owned enough firepower to arm an infantry platoon— but it was always locked up separately from the ammunition. I was more helpless than your typical left-wing grandmother, but I simply could not risk the possibility that my kids might hurt themselves.
Nowadays, Identilock offers a fresh, safe and effective solution to this truly timeless quandary.
Little boys are known to often do stupid things. If you fundamentally disagree with that statement, you have clearly never met one! Mark Twain said that as soon as a man-child is weaned, he should be sealed inside a barrel and fed through a hole. On his 13th birthday, you should stop up the hole. Testosterone is the most potent poison known to man.
The lamentable reality is that little boys are irresponsible heathens who lack the insight and judgment that God gave gravel. Eventually, we grow up to become captains of industry, pastors, presidents of the United States, dentists and the like. Until then, however, we simply cannot be trusted.
It is the innate inquisitiveness of youth that helps us explore our world and subsequently master it. Properly channeled, this is the engine that drives discovery, art and research. However, if unleashed in an unhealthy environment, there can be tragic consequences.
Two little boys were poking around the house looking for trouble when they stumbled upon an unsecured 9mm handgun in the drawer of a bedside table. Kids these days are immersed in stylized violence from the moment they sit down in front of a television set, so they did what any reasonable child would do—they took the gun out of the drawer and began playing with it. One pointed the weapon at the other and pulled the trigger. Two families were destroyed in the aftermath.
In most places, the responsible adult could go to jail. But, at that point, does it really matter?
Unlike most other gun safety devices, the Identilock … Leaves your gun instantly available. Nothing else really comes close.
The Identilock Solution
Your local sporting goods store is veritably awash in gun security contrivances. Most of these consist of a steel box of some flavor with a lock. If that box has a key, the gun is, indeed, nicely secured. However, I have had to respond to the sound of glass breaking downstairs in my home at 2 o’clock in the morning. I found myself in no shape to be fumbling in the dark for keys.
Yes, the higher-end security boxes do incorporate touch pads or combination locks that negate the need for physical keys. However, I can’t think straight in the first few moments after I have been suddenly and violently awakened in the middle of the night. Additionally, by definition, you have to make your way to wherever this box might be. Only Identilock offers you the capability of reliably securing your firearm while providing instant access—no matter where you choose to store it.
The Identilock Story
Omer Kiyani is the brains behind the Identilock. He comes by his passion honestly: When Omer was a kid, he was shot.
He grew up in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and survived a life-threatening gunshot wound in his youth. After immigrating to the United States and working as an engineer in the automotive industry, he began contriving a device that would render a firearm safe while leaving it instantly accessible. Omer finally reconciled this seemingly irreconcilable dichotomy after his device spent several years in development.
Omer has clearly embraced the freedoms we enjoy here, in the United States. He is a longtime NRA member. His favorite handgun is the HK P30, and his favorite shotgun is the Kel-Tec KSG. His dad was a cop who introduced him to his service revolver as an adolescent. Now that Omer lives in America, gun ownership has become an integral part of his life.
The quality on my Identilock device is superb, and the engineering is inspired. The lock, itself, is rugged and durable. It consists of a spring-loaded housing that clamps securely around the trigger guard of the weapon. You can leave the gun with a round in the chamber and still rest easy knowing that it is inert, no matter what you do to it. However, grab the weapon like you mean it, slide your index finger across the fingerprint pad, and the Identilock device pops open to drop cleanly and instantly away.
An onboard rechargeable battery powers the Identilock device. Plug it into a USB port, and it charges in a jiffy. The company says you should charge it every six months. I left mine unattended for twice that, and it still worked fine. Just plug it in overnight a couple of times a year, and you are good to go. In fact, the company will send you e-mail reminders to make sure you don’t forget to charge your unit.
There is a physical key that will override the electronic lock, should you need it. LED indicators on the side of the device keep track of progress while the unit is charging.
Initially, programming the device is no more onerous than setting up the biometric component of your smartphone. If it seems daunting, find a handy 12-year-old to walk you through it. The Identilock accepts three users, and you can add users later, once your kids get big enough to manage the responsibility.
My Identilock fits a full-sized Glock. The company also produces these devices to fit the 1911 and certain Smith & Wessons, as well as SIG Sauer handguns. Springfield Armory versions are in the pipeline. Because the device thoroughly encompasses the control systems on the handgun, they are specific to particular weapons.
The biometric fingerprint scanner on the identilock device works in much the same way as does the fingerprint scanner on your laptop or smart phone …
The biometric fingerprint scanner on the Identilock device works in much the same way as does the fingerprint scanner on your laptop or smartphone: A series of tiny receivers underneath the glass plate on the reader assesses the relative capacitance of the skin pressed against it. The space between these sensors is smaller than the ridges on your fingerprints.
By analyzing tiny differences in capacitance, the device can determine where the ridges on your fingerprint are touching the screen and where the space between the ridges is not. The device then uses an algorithm to build an instant virtual image of your fingerprint and access its onboard database. You save impressions of your print at various angles during the setup process, so it will recognize you as you, even from weird positions.
All this stuff happens in a literal instant. The Identilock device is spring loaded to the “open” position, so once the mechanism activates, it just pops open and drops clear. It really takes very little practice to master and works seamlessly in the dark and dead of night. Activation requires 300 milliseconds—roughly the same time it takes you to blink. I tried it sideways, upside down and backward. It always works.
I had the best of intentions. My assignment was to time myself retrieving my gun and engaging a target both with and without the Identilock installed. It just doesn’t make enough difference to reasonably measure. You either grab the gun, point it at the target and shoot, or you grab the gun, the Identilock falls off by itself, and you point the gun at the target and shoot. The time difference is really not worth documenting.
I passed the Identilock around to as many folks as I could find and nobody could open the thing but me. Considering that my smartphone behaves the same way, this is no surprise. The finger pad is located on the right side of the device, so lefties will have to heft the gun right-handed, at least at first. (However, the 10 to 15 percent of the population “cursed” with left-handedness should be used to getting hosed by now. Be strong, my brothers and sisters, and await the revolution. Someday, we’ll rise up and put Righty in his place.)
An Identilock device will set you back $199. Once it is installed, you can leave your loaded gun almost any place, and it is no more dangerous than your typical rock. I wouldn’t store it in the kids’ toy box, but it can live in your bedside table until the end of time without posing a threat to your family. Unlike most other gun safety devices, the Identilock also leaves your gun instantly available. Nothing else really comes close.
With the Identilock installed, the gun will not fit into a holster. However, this device is designed for use on a home-defense weapon that is stored rather than carried. It works in your bedside table or the glove box of your car. (The inevitable incorporation of this technology into a carry gun is still a generation down the road.)
The Identilock also precludes the attachment of a weapon light. This is the price you pay for safety. Keep a flashlight handy or plan to snap an onboard light in place once you retrieve the gun.
I scrimp and save for months to buy my next favorite smoke pole. I will agonize over how much I spend on toilet paper or gasoline and then dump half a grand on a new pistol without batting an eye. Boys are stupid like that. However, the Identilock is a thoroughly worthwhile investment.
Your toddler could not get into this thing in a week with a hammer, yet, it renders your firearm instantly available when appropriate. Trim, rugged and brilliant, the Identilock is the future of safe gun ownership.
It also might be the one and only thing on which both sides of the gun control argument could finally agree.
• Available guns: SIG P229, most full-sized Glocks, S&W M&P and M&P Shield, and most 1911s
• Coming soon: Springfield XD, XD MOD, M, S and S MOD.2 series
• Length: 3.75 inches
• Height: 4.6 inches
• Width: 1.5 inches
• Activation speed: 300 milliseconds
• Power: Onboard USB-rechargeable battery
• Service life: Six months per charge
• Mechanical backup: Dimpled keys
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2019 print issue of American Survival Guide.